It’s January 30… and in the Midwest, it’s cold… I mean really cold… with wind child it’s been -43F. And what a perfect time to begin a “daily intention” focused on peace-building. On January 30, 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated… a man committed to social justice, peace and a just world through non-violence. I was recently made aware of an organization that has created a 64-day season to bring awareness and specific action items that promote change through non-violence.
A Season for Nonviolence was co-founded by Arun and Sunanda Gandhi of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence and a group of ten ministers forming the Leadership Council of The Association for Global New Thought (AGNT), the organization that convenes A Season for Nonviolence on an annual basis. Its purpose, to focus educational and media attention on the philosophy of attaining peace through nonviolent action as demonstrated by Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and a global community of nonviolence leaders and teachers.
The 64-day long "season" begins with the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's assassination on January 30 and ends with the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr's assassination on April 4. It is anchored by a mission, statement of principles, and commitments by participants towards living in a nonviolent way.
The Association for Global New Thought provides lots of suggestions but this mandala is one of my favorites… Click on the image above and you’ll go to the AGNT website that houses the interactive mandala. On each of the 64 days, you’ll click on a word… today, January 30, click the madala (once you’ve made it to their website) and then enter on the word “courage.” You’ll find a quote, an affirmation, and a “practice” tip. There’s even some calming music that plays.
Might I suggest incorporating this daily mandala into your knitting routine? View the quote and reflect on the message as you mindfully stitch… with each stitch you’ll be focused on how to create change in a non-violent way, perhaps for self, interpersonal relationships, community and maybe even at a larger level.
If you’re interested in more about the effectiveness of non-violent change, you might be interested in the work of Erica Chenoweth and this very well known TedTalk.
And finally, I’d like to bring your awareness to a wonderful group of knitters in Sweden led by Gerd Persson working to create change and promote peace through non-violence… This group of talented knitters has been making these knitted doves, attaching a tag to the beak that says “sticka for fred” or “knit for peace” and doing all of sorts of good deeds with the birds. They leave the birds in visible places with messages of peace. They’ve sent them to the United Nations, to the White House, on monuments with controversial messages. The pattern is currently available in Swedish and Spanish. If anyone can convert it to English, I’ll connect you with Gerd.
What about sending peace birds to your local politicians? What about creating the birds in all sorts of colors, shapes and sizes and leaving them in key places to provide messages that promote diversity through knitting. Be creative (as I know all of you are)… perhaps send peace birds to The Net Loft to be part of the Cordova Bird Project with a message that brings awareness to current issues (e.g. environment). Create your own tag for the beak, cards to attach, use a different design… again, another ingenious way to use knitting to create change, through non-violence!
I’m thrilled to embark on the next 64 days with a daily intention to focus on peace. Please consider joining me…